Mother Blue

I photo. I take day trips. I lightsaber battle. I analyze the stuffing out of myself.

Category: Blue

Chaos Theory, Part 2: Fumbling Towards Extropy

A moment of calm.

EXTROPY: the theory that cultural and technological development will expand indefinitely and in an orderly progressive manner throughout the universe, the tendency of systems to grow more organized.


I cant not focus on a single linear thought for more than a moment or two without it transforming into background noise, telephone rings, iCarly theme music, chirping birds, laundry buzzers, or my son’s interjections, “just one more thing, mom…”

I could attribute this scattered thought process to simply being a parent or being an artist, but I would be lying to myself; I have always lacked a certain sense of focus in some respect. I equate my lack of focus to that falling sensation that sneaks up on you as your body relaxes and your mind drifts asleep. The one that tricks your mind into believing you are floating in space, about to overturn and causes you to violently grip the sides of the bed. It is almost as if my thoughts can not keep up with me, or my thoughts are moving too fast for the world, and focus shocks me back into reality.

I have five Mother Blue blog entries half started as we speak. I panic and wonder if I will ever post a single one of them…

My thoughts are constantly leaping around in an almost violent fashion as I multitask between homework, dinner, schedules, play dates, and the overall well-being of my family and household. Despite my nature, I try to give routine its precedence. And despite my best efforts, focus and routine sometimes fails me. In fact, this particular post is being published later than my usually Friday deadline. The tardiness was not due to lack of focus, but more to do with the chaos surrounding my routine right now. Chaos and focus seem to go hand in hand.

Always something to do. Always something to be done.


I often lament over the fact that our nighttime routine isn’t more structured despite our best efforts, but I really like chatting with my little guy and his greatest insights usually make their way to the surface when he is trying to find excuses to stay awake. My husband and I often indulge his inner and outer “intellectual” musings, especially when he really should be sleeping.

“When is going to be blue outside?” Jackie asked one night, after completing his bedtime routine.

The shade of blue that Jack is referring to is the color the sky makes right after dawn or right after sunset. It happens before twilight, before the night sky fades to black, or the color that evolves into daytime sky. It is a hard moment to catch, for you only have a very small window to capture that particular purplely blue until it merges into something else. For Jack, blue references the passage of time when the numbers on the clock still mean very little. Blue is when his friends go to bed. Blue is right before the street lights come on. Blue is when he has to wake up for school. Blue is everything.

After Jack is squarely tucked into bed, I often lie on the floor in the hallway right outside his door and let him speak about whats on his mind before he drifts to sleep. Usually it is all very kid adventure based such as what do you think would happen if (insert ninja type scenario here) or very stream of consciousness. His thoughts occasionally drift to his friends. He asks if they are asleep now and how many hours does he have left until the “blue” happens again. One night, I asked him if we could try to capture this blue on camera. He seemed to like the idea of this project.

My husband doesn’t get home from work until after 6 p.m. and we usually don’t start dinner until after the news. Dinnertime often coincides with the “blue”. All throughout the meal, we stare at the colors reflecting off the blinds of the bay window that resides in our dining room. Dave and I repeatedly ask, Is this your blue? Is this it? Is this it? “This is sort of my blue but not really.” Finally Jack gives us the go ahead and we spring into action. We run outside to the porch. Per his direction, I snap a few photos. Sigh. It still wasn’t the right blue. I could tell by his deflated tone that this blue was almost there, but not quite right. Chicken teriyaki has kept us from the “real blue”.

The almost but not quite right blue.

I had wicked insomnia this morning. I Netflixed for a while and stared at the mountain of things I needed to do today. I caught of glimpse of the bay window. The black light in the dining room was dissolving into blue. I grabbed my camera and headed for the porch. My heart swelled as I looked outside. From Jack’s late night descriptions, I knew it was indeed THE blue. I snapped as much as I could, all the while adjusting the color temp to reflect Jack’s vision and the accuracy of the setting. I found the right blue. I showed Jack the imagery on the next day. He hugged me around my neck while staring at my computer screen and whispered that I had indeed found it.

Jackie's blue.

The blue reflecting off the porch.

The blue fading into day.

The moment when blue becomes "blue."

My chaos theory is one of routines I should adhere to, of schedules I should maintain, of organizational skills that should be ingrained in me since birth. I grew up quite structured despite the chaos that surrounded me so I should be more apt. I struggle against nature every single day trying to adhere to the conventions of routine, but then late night conversations and the perfect blue remind me of the moments that only happen when you don’t plan things and simply let the organics of life take over.

Yikes, I just realized, this is my dining room table right now. My OCD is kicking in. I better go clean this up.

My dining room table.

My Gallery of “Chaos” or the things I am doing when I should be doing other things:

Two arms in one coat.

Jack asking for a hug but in reality he wanted to show me the turkey he ate for lunch.

Leftover water bottles and toys that need to be put away.

Dishwasher helper.

The towels in my hall that need to be put away.

Beach towels drying on the banister.

Fan experimentation.

Focus within the chaos.


and seek

Leftover feet when I wasn't looking.

One more pair for good measure.

Morning coffee amongst the cupboards.

A rare moment of calm and my sleepy face.


Chaos Theory, Part 1: The Entropy of Black & Blue (Dishes)

Energy of the universe is constant. Entropy of the universe tends to a maximumRudolf Clausius, German physicist, mathematician and one of the central founders of the science of thermodynamics

photo by Kim Rullo

a measure of disorder in the universe or of the availability of the energy in a system to do work. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.


I broke a dish…Well, actually, I didn’t… Really, I just opened the cupboard and the dishes came pouring out.

A loud cacophony of crashes ensued. Angrily, I looked downward and screamed inarticulately at the floor. Another direct result of my poor household organizational skills and my often disheveled nature, I thought. In that moment, I had no idea why this freak event brought me to that depressive, narcissistic anti-me sentiment, but there it was, unexpected and disruptive, like the mess laid out before me. A feeling of my mother washed over me as I stared at the broken ceramic shards. She was organized. I am not. She was neat. I am not.

As unkempt as some aspects of my mother’s life had been, everything on the surface always had its place.“What the hell?!” were all the words my thoughts could muster. Whomever said motherhood and domestication was a natural, genetically inherited trait was seriously misinformed. Fort maker — yes! Lightsaber battler — bring it on! Dish stacker — thumbs down.

My thoughts drifted to a friend whose mother had just died. We had spoke of our weird shared experiences that weren’t really shared but weren’t mutually exclusive either. Our different mothers wading in this underlying current of “mutual-ness”: mutual sentiment; mutual sadness; mutual self discovery; mutual regret. Regret is such a terrible thing.

photo by Kim Rullo

Crack! I stepped on one of the shards. My misstep didn’t really hurt, it just brought me back to the floor. It reminded me of the mess that was still there. Kneeling to the ground, I haphazardly started to pick up the taunting ceramic remains.

I got down low, laying my body close to the broken pieces.

I chuckled to myself and began to think, Isn’t this all so very cliché? So cute? So apropos?  The words “a beautiful lie” came to mind. I wasn’t sure what the lie was: my perceptions of my mother or my perceptions of myself. Even the random patterns on the floor were deceiving me in their own way. Strong and thick, yet jagged and broken. A few large segments with miniscule bits behind them, surrounding them. Food particles from last night’s dinner added to the debris that was adorning my less than pristine kitchen floor. They looked like mother, or at least mothers as I intimately knew them. I captured it with my camera. After half my life without her, it was what was left. Not really sad, just different, distant, objectified. Her’s and mine.

Debris and strength.

I began focusing on chaos. I began to miss her.

photo by Kim Rullo

continued next week: Chaos Theory, Part 2: Fumbling Towards Extropy



This post was written this past winter shortly after I heard news of the death of a friend’s mother. My crashing dishes and our multiple conversations inspired this true event and in turn this event prompted me to begin writing this blog. It is the beginnings of my entropy and my journey towards extropy.

The photos in this series are called “Black & Blue Mothers (Dishes).”